Recycling and environmental protection took centre stage last Friday in Ocho Rios as the Recycling Partners of Jamaica (RPJ) participated in the official launch of the Mystic Mountain Foundation’s (MMF) Youth Environment & Tourism Project (YETP) promoting recycling in schools.

The event was held under the theme “Learn about it, talk about it”.

YETP is an ongoing initiative geared towards improving existing environmental clubs/groups in primary and secondary schools through ‘edutainment’ while incorporating alternative energy source and environmental best practices at Mystic Mountain Jamaica.

Already partners on Mystic Mountain’s recycling efforts, YETP was a natural match between the RPJ and the foundation. The entities signed an MOU in 2019 to expand the work of the programme into high schools in St. Ann, St Mary and Trelawny.

The three key areas of the partnership are to focus on the development of an active school environmental programme; making Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica at Mystic Mountain a central point for group edutainment activities; and the increased separation of garbage and recycling of PEP plastics.

As part of the programme, the foundation will donate equipment such as collection bags, bins and gloves to participating schools provide awards and prizes for the best performing institutions. The RPJ will be in charge of collections and recycling efforts.

Scores of lively and attentive students attended Friday’s launch and were fully engaged as the RPJ Chairman Dr Damien King spoke to the importance of recycling noting, “students, you are the future of Jamaica, and this is the land where many of you will grow up and continue to live. Develop the habit of recycling now so that you can enjoy the beauty of our country well into your future”.

During the launch, students from the participating schools were badged for their positions as Environmental Wardens for their respective institutions. There was also a presentation of prizes for the winners of the first YETP round that took place in 2019.